<p>Objective: 1. Identify the ecological and environmental factors, as well as critical points, that affect pathogen occurrence, survival, fate, and transport in cattle and swine production facilities, manure, and surrounding environments.</p>
<p>Objective 2. Develop and evaluate intervention strategies that reduce or eliminate the occurrence, persistence, or movement of foodborne pathogens among food animals, their environment, and potential surrounding production environments.</p>
Approach: The overall goal of this project is to reduce the risk of human foodborne illness, by providing scientific information that can be used to reduce or eliminate the transmission of zoonotic pathogens from animal manure to food, water, and the environment. Primary targets of the work include pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli (including non-O157 Shiga-toxigenic E. coli), Salmonella spp., and Campylobacter spp. in cattle and swine. Approaches for reducing these pathogens include the reduction of pathogen colonization and shedding by livestock, as well as the reduction of pathogens shed and present in the manure and production environment. Exploitable factors, including biological, environmental, and managerial factors, which affect the occurrence, survival, or transmission of pathogens in cattle and/or swine manure will be identified, then manipulated and evaluated to determine the impact on pathogens. Strategies and interventions to reduce the dissemination of foodborne pathogens in cattle and swine manure or production environments will be developed and evaluated. Approaches will include the use of dietary amendments, manure additives, and waste management systems, as well as other intervention strategies that may be suggested by information gathered in experiments. Approaches that are both effective at reducing foodborne pathogens and environmentally safe under animal production practices will be identified. Expected outcomes are scientific information and procedures that will be used to reduce or eliminate zoonotic foodborne pathogens both in livestock and their manure, thus contributing to a safer food and water supply and a lower risk of human foodborne illness.